One thing I think the present uprising indicates is how far leftward US culture has moved in the past few decades. When the Rodney King/LA riots happened, they were mostly limited to the LA area and a few other places. This time the uprising was nationwide and spread to small towns. Also, when George H. W. Bush sent out federal troops to quell the uprising in 1992, it wasn’t even controversial. This time around, the Deep State vetoed Trump’s interest in doing the same.
The Jacobin boys perform pretty well in this. About the only thing they would need to say to make me agree with them 100% is to call for the abolition of the federal government and the military-industrial complex (“Defund the CIA! Defend the Pentagon!”). I’m with them having their own commie enclave in a New York City borough or wherever. But I doubt they would go for that because it would mean giving up human rights imperialism, the centralized welfare state, and the culture war against the Red Tribe.
As usual, the Right is better at criticizing the government and the media (see the Tucker Carlson video I just posted) while the Left (like these Jacobin boys) are better are criticizing the corporations/capitalist class. Fortunately, it’s not a question of either/or. We should be attacking ridiculous government overreach in response to COVID-19 while simultaneously demanding reparations for the harm that has already been done (and then some).
This video featuring a group of Marxoids/Berniebros from The Jacobin is a perfect illustration of how the mainstream economics debate pitting “socialism” versus “capitalism” represents a false dichotomy that should be discarded. Both Ron/Rand Paul fans and these Jacobin guys need to go back and read their nineteenth-century anarchist, utopian, and socialist literature on Proudhonian and other forms of actual anti-capitalist, anti-statist economics. All of these folks are a more than century behind the learning curve.
One interesting aspect of this segment is where Michael Brooks describes himself as having been a “Chomsky kid” (#metoo, Michael) and how the far-left in the US is largely just “progressive liberalism with an anarchist tinge.” Amen, brother. Michael seems to have since moved to something along the lines of a Jacobin Magazine-like socialism, while I have (hopefully) moved toward a more substantive anarchism.
The three main criticisms I have of the left-anarchist milieu are that 1) some anarchists only want anarchism to be the fringe wing of socialism, while I take a much more expansive view of what anarchism is; 2) for some anarchists “anarchism” is merely a euphemism for an extremist version of progressive liberalism (particularly the IdPol-obsessed SJW types); and 3) many anarchists of the left exhibit a pathological right-wingophobia that fails to recognize that a consistent application of anarchist principles requires a transcendence of the “left, right, and center” paradigm.
For instance, this article describes left-anarchism as “Anarchism is a process whereby authority and domination is being replaced with non-hierarchical, horizontal structures, with voluntary associations between human beings. It is a form of social organisation with a set of key principles, such as self-organisation, voluntary association, freedom, autonomy, solidarity, direct democracy, egalitarianism and mutual aid. ”
But how many “left-anarchists” ever even talk about these things as opposed to progressive liberal talking points or critical theory-inspired SJW rhetoric?
I disagree that anarchists must be leftists, and I consider non-leftist forms of anarchism to be legitimate forms of anarchism, but even a consistent application of left-anarchism would require a rejection or at least a modification of the conventional “left, right, center” framework.
The basic arguments that these guys make are spot-on: If you don’t want more anti-lockdown protests (and more), then a debt moratorium is essential.
Ben Burgis Debunks Critics Of His “Reopen America” Piece
Now that the Sandernistas have gotten totally fucked by the DNC and neoliberals, hopefully at least some leftists will start moving toward third partyism and extra-parliamentary agitation. That’s not nearly where they need to be but it’s something.
This is a rather tortured discussion, and I disagree with some of the political analysis, but it’s an interesting illustration of where the intellectually serious reformist-left is now.
Bernie-idolator Michael Brooks takes on the IDW.
For the record, I frequently agree with much of Brooks’ criticisms of capitalism and imperialism (though not his solution of socialist-statism) and I frequently agree with the IDW’s critique of the cultural left (though not their solution of turn-back-the-clock reaction).
The neoliberals’ leading pundit once again makes an ass of himself.